Eight once-outspoken right-to-work protesters were calm, collected and quiet in Ingham County's 54A District Court as they stood before Judge Hugh Clarke to be arraigned on charges of assaulting, resisting or obstructing a police officer.
"Do you understand the charge and the penalty?" Judge Clarke asked each.
"Yes, your honor," the defendants would reply.
Below are the names of the eight protesters arraigned Wednesday:
The Ingham County prosecutor Stuart Dunnings was not available for an on-camera interview. Over the phone he told WILX News 10 there is a difference between peaceful protests and breaking the law and these eight broke the law.
They each face felony charges with a maximum of up to two years in prison and or up to a two thousand dollar fine. None of the eight spoke on camera, but all are represented by the same lawyer.
"I think all eight are concerned, and what to get through it. Obviously this is a tough time of the year for them to be dealing with it, but they are all in semi-good spirits and we are going to deal with it as it comes as they have to," said Randall Behrmann, the defense attorney for all eight.
Behrmann said the charges are among the of the lowest for felonies. For most of these clients, this is their first encounter with breaking the law.
On December 6th, the eight protesters allegedly rushed past a human barricade of Michigan State Troopers to try and gain access to the Senate chamber.
"Those individuals disobeyed lawful orders issued by State Police Troopers and when they rushed forward they assaulted our troopers," said Inspector Gene Adamczyk of the Michigan State Police.
"Just because their names are out in the press and just because they have been charged with a crime doesn't mean that they did anything, until they are proven guilty like I said, and that's the presumption that is afforded to each and every citizen in this country," said Behrmann.
Behrmann requests that anyone with videos or photos of the Senate area on December 6th please contact his office.
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"I think there is probably 12 to 17,000 people who agreed [with his clients] and probably a whole lot more that sat in their homes or supported them at work and supported them as well," said Behrmann. "I don't know that they felt any differently than any of the others."
Preliminary examination is scheduled for January 3, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. in Judge Patrick Cherry's courtroom.